WE’RE NOT JUST FRIENDS

Artist: Parks, Squares and Alleys

Genre: Dream-pop

Notable lyrics: 

We don’t need nothing, except each other

But there’s no reason to say it out loud

The moon is there for you tonight

I feel the beating of your heart

You should forget it for a while,

We’re not just friends I know you want me to stop the time.

Yes, most of us have been here, feeling the same about a friend. It’s almost inevitable, I presume. But here underlies a certain beauty, almost too incoherent to be expressed in words. For now, I’ll let it be.

This particular song is a very lucky find, a result of an adventurous YouTube spree. The music is so surreal, the guitar strokes capable of inducing a psychedelic effect on you and the voice equally delightful. It’s almost too complex, to comprehend the musical structure of the sound. Per se,  it’s hard to believe that something like this tune is hand-made and not mechanically fabricated. I’m not denying that editing is an essential process while composing a song, but how does something as outlandish as this music just drop onto your head, out of nowhere? It’s hard, even for a pioneer in the music industry, to intricately produce such tasteful instrumentals. I can’t imagine how hard and meticulous it must’ve been, giving birth to an idea for something beyond the ordinary, with less or no professional help (The band isn’t well-known so professional help can be pretty expensive).

The lyrics are very unpretentious, unambiguous and mellow, thereby maintaining an easy balance within the song so as to not make it seem too ostentatious. A clever stitch in time saves 9, doesn’t it?

If this is what hipsters these days are listening to, I must appreciate their prudence.

Bonus video:

 

 

TOO MUCH

Artist: Pale

Genre: Indie

Notable lyrics:

Did you scream,

did you suffer,

does it help you do more;

We could be more,

don’t you run away,

we could be happier this way.

The video is a bit unsettling but the picture of that record induces such pleasure, I can’t really say what it is. The name of the band (I’m assuming?) and the color scheme is so well-coordinated, it’s almost aesthetically pleasant (that’s a proper use of the word, now).

‘Pale’ is so masked that even google can’t give me any more information about them. It’s just one of those really random songs you find on digging deep into the surreptitious part of YouTube. But from what I can say, they’ve got a great eye for making music and that’s pretty evident in their solo track ‘Too much’. If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in the middle of the ghastly nowhere, this songs presents to be very familiar and fairly reminiscing. ‘Too much’ represents the underlying pain and desperation when you’re willing to do what it takes to hold your beloved very still and settled. You don’t want them to leave so you try to convince yourself and them that you’re really happiest the way you are. You despairingly want them to break their walls down and open up to you, about their worldly sorrows and genuine happiness. Really a traumatic episode, if you think about it, but that’s love for you. No matter how accurate the phrase ‘you love them when you let them go’ seems to be, it’s hard to put it into practice.

The vocals aren’t the highlight of the song, contrary to the popular customs of music-making and neither are the lyrics. If anything, the song is minimalism at its finest. Simple lyrics, simple vocals and a simple tune with a simple, slightly unsettling music video. The vocals are indolent (in a good way) and a little resonant with the latent pain and that fits the entire framework of the song. You’re sure to find yourself listening to this ear catching tune inadvertently and every so often or at least that’s how I came to write about this song.

CAMEO LOVER

 Artist: Kimbra

Genre: Indie pop

Notable lyrics:

I’ve got high hopes baby, but all you do is take me
Down to depths that I never knew
You’ve got two arms baby, they’re all tangled in ladies
As the black skies posing blue
Let go of your mother and turn to your brother
Not a long gone lover’s noose

Kimbra? rings a bell? ‘isn’t she that chick from that weirdly amazing song with the body paint and everything?’ Yes, this is the same Kimbra of the ‘somebody that I used to know‘ fame. and yes, she’s covered with body paint in that album cover, again.

Kimbra with her Zooey Deschanel- pre fame Katy Perry realness, her decisively hollow but gratifying voice, bizarre haircut and quirky moves with equally quirky music videos writes this song to bring color into the life of her potential, indecisive lover who only keeps making appearances in her life because he’s so wrapped up in his own problems that he can’t even spell happiness, let alone return her affections. in an effort to pursue him, Kimbra offers to help him deal with his struggles and soothe his somewhat wounded soul. well, gotta love Kimbra.

The song is seemingly happy but it really isn’t all that merry. add a sad tune and you’ve got a depressing one-hit wonder. there’s something about Kimbra and her innate obsession with making the impossible look easy: creating happy sad songs. definitely is a complex challenge, that one is. The song simply revolves around a depressed individual (who everyone usually wants to offer comfort) or a ‘bad boy’ who manages to sweep Kimbra off her feet. being aware of his state, Kimbra, like every other good girl (I’m kidding, can’t be too sure about this) wants to woo him and make his world a better place by turning his skies blue and such specifics. on a journey to win his heart over by creating a colorful environment, she manages to capture all our attentions too! don’t believe me? read the YouTube comments below her music videos.

With one of the most different voices in the industry, Kimbra manages to employ it in a very appealing manner. most of her videos are sweet as candy, unnecessarily vivid and vibrant (I’m not complaining *heart eyes emoji*). Her endearing, feminine appearance makes her stand out among the rest of the “edgy” (basic is the word I intended to use) female pop singers. After all, nobody wants to go back to the 2010’s, do they? But Kimbra manages to pull it off so well, with her floppy raven hair and girly face. Also, how quirky are her dance moves? Gotta love Kimbra, again.

 

ALL I’VE EVER KNOWN

Artist: Bahamas

Genre: Indie blues

Notable lyrics: 

And now my memory
Seems to be failing me
What once was fantasy
Is all I’ve ever known.

Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of figure-skating and honestly, the music is more essential than you can imagine; it’s the spine of your performance. if I could skate on ice for one song, for the rest of my life, this would be it.

Beautiful guitar notes, beautiful voice, beautiful mood, beautiful configuration, beautiful demeanor and beautiful meaning; a truly rare specimen of its kind, it manages to stand out from the nonchalant crowd of underappreciated music. the song smoothly transitions into the more, significantly amorous part that will leave your feet hanging from being swept away. the lyrics are just another add-on to the entire aesthetic (and I say that unironically). Afie’s voice complements the song so ludicrously that it’s almost a perfect yin to the yang. once you close your eyes and chuck your inhibitions away, letting yourself be completely vulnerable to the feeling of nostalgia/emptiness, that’s when the song appears to be more than just a song. it’s a feeling of pain, of being in love, of wanting to be in love, knowing nothing lasts forever. the pain can be sweeter than you reckon and this is an evidence. the combination of the painting in the video and the song speaks languages you’d  never thought you’d understood, despite never having been in  that state of trance before. It’s one of the purest things to do, completely surrendering yourself only to be able to feel something so absurd yet transcendental; that’s one thing money can never buy.

love can be so very versatile. you don’t have to be in love with a person, it can be just an idea of the person, it can be a tangible work of art. I completely dispatch my senses while listening to this song and that’s how I know I love it; that’s how I’m sure of the meaning behind it, the effort, the tears and a chunk of the creator that had remained incipient for most part.

 

 

 

STUCK ON THE PUZZLE

Artist: Alex turner

Genre: indie

Notable lyrics: I’m not the kind of fool
Who’s gonna sit and sing to you about stars, girl
But last night I looked up into the dark half of the blue
And they’d gone backwards

Fingers dimming the lights
Like you’re used to being told that you’re trouble
And I spent all night
Stuck on the puzzle

This song, the solo work of the same Alex Turner of the ‘Arctic Monkey’s fame, is the opening OST from the movie ‘Submarine’. the plot revolves around a Welsh teen, with his slumped life and depressed parents, approaching his classmate in order to lose his virginity before his sweet 16th (teenagers, am I right?). Jordana, the aforementioned girl, is a very feisty girl, very keen on going about the whole town with a familiar hand in hers, preferably Oliver’s. He, Oliver, later gets cold feet and cuts his ties with he- you know what, watch the movie. I highly recommend it. It’s a very modern and strange outlook on love; teenage love. there’s no chance for you to get out some yawns, though.

The best part about the whole movie? the savvy decision of choosing dear Alex to make the music, which he has done so brilliantly and meticulously, each song better than the last. of all the 6 songs, this one’s my favorite. Far from his usual style of strict indie rock, Turner has approached the audience with more appropriate ballads which definitely captures the essence of the movie. Alex and his beautiful, intricate style of writing pleases everyone, all the god damn time. from ‘Arctic Monkeys’ to the ‘The last shadow puppets’, he has never failed to impress a wide variety of the listeners. With the ’70’s rock star meets a modern hipster rocker’ éclat,the young James Dean is a proper heart throb, that goes around stealing hearts and capturing smiles with his wonderfully crafted music.

With as little as a single instrument, the guitar, he still manages to outshine most meaningless performers these days.if that doesn’t highlight his talent and his ability as a proper musician, I don’t know what does or what will.

 

SWEATER WEATHER

 

Artist: The neighborhood

Genre: Indie

Notable lyrics:

And if I may just take your breath away

I don’t mind if there’s not much to say

Sometimes the silence guides our minds to

So move to a place so far away

The goosebumps start to raise

The minute that my left hand meets your waist.

 

You know it’s a good song when the lyrics are swell and the song is just…SULTRY.

So, based on my previous recommendations, if you thought I was a prude OR boring, you’re under the wrong impression. the fun’s just about to begin. (also, my mum occasionally reads the blog so i’ll try to tone it down.)

Now, I know this is a fairly popular song and it’s just as good as me recommending ‘Do I wanna know’ for an ‘Arctic Monkeys’ song but, I couldn’t resist.

The song is a neophyte seducer (take it anyway you want) in a retro atmosphere (with the black & white video and everything). it  might as well be a hipster ‘start me up’. with the barely explicit details, you can paint a picture of what’s going on or……what’s going to happen. lyrics like ‘You in those little high-waisted shorts’, ‘Touch my neck and I’ll touch yours’ and ‘Put my finger on your tongue cause you love the taste’ definitely amplify the sensual outlook of the song. the vocalist also adds to the overall sexiness of the song, with his thin, but alluring and unshaken voice. this song is definitely capable of putting you into a trance, as your limbs involuntarily start moving to the organised drum beats as if you were in a club trying to find a potential mate. the song slows down at the bridge and then, there’s a dreamy exit.

The intimate details like the sounds of birds screeching and the waves gushing towards the beach makes it perfect for a beach house date, if you will. if not a date, you can still count on your imagination to do the rest or atleast, the song will make it 😉

IF YOU’RE ON THE WATER

(This isn’t the official video, but it’s beautiful. the channel makes videos for underrated songs.)

Artist: The saxophones

Genre: Indie folk/blues

Notable lyrics: When you left that boat

Thought you’d sink if I couldn’t float

Would you lose your guilt if I was your daughter?

Oh, father

If you’re on the water, water, water water beware

If you’re on the water, water, water water take care.

This song, my friends, has come from the really dark and artistic side of YouTube. with less than a million views (most indie songs have 1 mill+ views on YouTube), this nostalgic song ‘you definitely have heard somewhere before’ has a most phenomenal make when deciphered. the artist is a very surreptitious dude from California with a sentimental and remarkably heavy voice, a voice that is truly a rarity in general. he’s joined by his wife on the ‘percussions and samplers’.

This music is what can be reviewed as vintage, with its 50’s charm and soft, yet vibrant music which forms a fuzz and fades into your background, drawing you quite into the thoughtfully configured lyrics and the sentimentality of the singer’s voice. the video is nothing but the audio of the song, with a very intimate polaroid of what could be the duo’s own wedding, leaving us feeling trapped in their tiny, ochre world. the song is essentially a declaration of love, trust, about holding your lover’s hand through all the complications, darkness, moments of joy and marriage – basically a poetic and Shakespearean (I mean Romeo and Juliet in particular) marriage vow.

Another meaning could be that this is a father-child song. There’s a little back story behind this.

Erenkov and his father were riding 70 MPH in a fishing boat on Lake Shasta when they hit a swell and were both thrown overboard. Neither one was wearing a life jacket. Alexi broke his femur upon hitting the water, and his father was badly bruised. They treaded water until they were rescued by a passing ski boat. A week later, Erenkov’s father’s friend committed suicide completely shocking Erenkov and his father as they recovered from the accident.

That makes more sense now, doesn’t it?

The song is the kind that really does stick with you on a boat with your father or beau (whatever your preference is) a rainy day, a heavy day or just any day in general. there is no way to show my true appreciation for the song, for we have bonded at such short notice and that doesn’t happen usually. it leaves me feeling reminiscing and overwhelmed. writing about this beautiful work of art is what keeps me doing what I’m doing.

MY KIND OF WOMAN

Artist : Marc DeMarco

Genre : Indie

Notable Lyrics :

‘You’re my, oh my, what a girl

 you’re my, my, my, my kinda woman

 and i’m down on my hands and knees beggin you

please baby, show me your world.

 

When I first discovered this song, I absolutely hated it. I felt that the singing was clumsy and indolent and the video, rather disturbing. But something about the tune and the ambiance of the song kept me drawing me to it, just like the feeling you get when sinking into a bottomless water body and now, it’s one of my absolute favorites.

The song has a very melodramatic and retro tune which has the make of ‘a tune a broken record player would play’. Looking into the song, you’ll notice the beauty and the chaos that follows it. you can almost hear a battered man who’s asking a woman who’s just his type, to open up and show him some warmth and affection in return. he also talks about how he’s probably turning into a lunatic, which is fine as long as she’s beside him. in a way, it’s a ‘lunatic asylum romance’ song (don’t get me wrong, I love this song very much. but that’s one way to describe it). It’s the kind of song that leaves you sad when it’s over. and for various unknown reasons, it manages to leave my eyes all watery. if not tears, i’m in the least, melancholic (even if it doesn’t apply to me in any way). somehow, it also makes me nostalgic (note that I’ve never been in a queer relationship before, let alone ever having been in one)…

The video, as I first mentioned, is quite disturbing and also depressing. Mac plays the role of a drag queen? who dresses up and wistfully applied makeup everyday to sing in a club, despite having an internal conflict with the demons and being molested EVERY SINGLE DAY. it is quite overwhelming but also has an artistic touch to it (I’m not glorifying ‘molestation’ in any way. it’s just the nature of the video I’m explaining). the video doesn’t really fit the song but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Also, Mac is quite a sexy lil’ fella – in general. maybe has something to do with the gap between his front teeth 😉 😉

Here’s a bonus video of Bart Simpson’s relationship with the song playing in the background. now that’s the kind of ‘being in love’ i’m talking about.

 

SKYSCRAPERS

Artist : OK GO

Genre : Indie/Alternative

Notable lyrics : 

And I guess, all I’ve ever loved,

was standing right before my eyes.

And I, oh I, I was blind.

When you first listen to the song, you try to make sense of it. ‘what really IS he referring as skyscrapers to? her stature? the walls she’s built against him? or their egos?’ the possibilities are endless. and all that screaming might seem redundant. ‘Why is this one of your absolute favorites again?’ you might ask.

The answer? well, when I first stumbled across this opus on YOUTUBE, I didn’t quite adore it either. Infact, I was rather repelled. but really, I couldn’t help revisiting it. then came the video, this gorgeous masterpiece of a video directed by the lead singer – Damian Kulash’s sister herself (who’s also the talented lady in the video). the video portrays a couple dancing with changes in the background colors as well as their costumes. it’s calming, all the while very beautifully depicting the transitions in a relationship – from love to lust, from lust to truth (I quote Mr. Sheeran here). the sturdy grasp he’s got on her is just the icing on the cake, as if to say ‘no matter what we see, feel or hear, i’ll never let go of you’. maybe that’s just the tango speaking.

Now, i’m not in love with the video as I am with the song itself. ‘it’s a man singing in a very high pitched voice. what’s to like?’ the vulnerability. and the heartfulness. also, the smashing guitar solo as the song proceeds to the chorus. if there was one such solo i’d listen to, for the rest of my life, this’d be it. and the falsetto – I agree, it seems a little unnecessary. but come to think of it, the reason the song’s so distinguished lies there – in that falsetto. it gives the song its character, making it ‘one of a kind’. only truly talented musicians could pull THAT off.

 

 

 

Continue reading

MYSTERY OF LOVE

Artist : Sufjan Stevens

Genre : Indie

Notable lyrics :

”Oh to see without my eyes,

the first time that you kissed me;

boundless by the time I cried,

I built your walls around me.

white noise, what an awful sound,”

                             

‘Mystery of love’, an OST from the movie ‘Call me by your name’ (where I first discovered the song) is a soulful ballad about falling in love and letting go, because that is inevitable. I don’t really obsess about one song for long, but this song had me wrapped around its finger for days. I fell asleep everyday for a week, listening to this song on repeat. Sufjan is a clever poet who makes clever allusions to unsung Greek figures and might be slightly obsessed with rivers. This poem is an intimate and sensual description of a lover and the disposition of the love he’s receiving. With his mellifluous voice and effortless singing, Sufjan is bound to captivate your attention for days. It won’t be long before you begin exploring his other intricate works.